SRtRC in Wales delivered the first Racism Awareness Workshop to Academy players at Cardiff City Football Club
The aim of the workshop is to highlight how players can deal with and report racism incidents while providing valuable support as they continue their footballing careers. The workshop provided information on the responsibilities of the players as an academy player and the consequences of their actions which includes the use of social media.
Campaign Worker Jason Webber arranged with the club to deliver a pilot workshop with the U-14s academy squad at a time when it continues to dominate the headlines.
Jason Webber delivered the workshop to 15 players from the under 14’s squad after their training session.
The workshop featured our core messages and activities with the added element of focussing on the responsibilities the players have for representing the club and how their actions reflect on themselves and the club.
The players took part in activities and discussions exploring racism and who can experience it and many were happy to share their experiences of receiving racism both in football and outside of the environment.
A key part of the session was discussing terminology about what words are acceptable and are not acceptable along with the history and reasoning behind words that are not acceptable. Players were given realistic scenarios that they may come across both within football and outside of it, discussions focused around how to deal with these situations in the correct way and the importance of reporting any racism that occurs.
Academy manager Geraint Twose (12-16) was in attendance supporting the workshop and shared his thoughts:
“As a club we have a zero tolerance towards racism from the first team down and recognise the importance of educating our players on an important topic and ensuring they represent themselves and the club in a respectable manor. The players were clearly engaged in the discussions and it showed that this education is needed and beneficial.”
Cardiff City's Manager and club captain also support the campaign and its message.
Cardiff City FC manager Malky Mackay highlighted the Club's stance against racism and said:
"As a Football Club we unite as one against racism. Football is a game followed by all and should be an enjoyable experience for all, whatever their racial or ethnic background. We all have a role in stopping racism in sport and society in general."
Cardiff City's ambassador for the campaign this season is Mark Hudson who shared his thoughts on the campaign and racism in football saying:
"As in everyday life, racism has no part to play in football. At Cardiff City we come from different parts of the world and work together as a team which is how it should be in all walks of life. We fully support the fortnight of action and are glad to play our part."
After the workshop the players provided feedback on what they had learnt and their thoughts on the information that had been presented.
- From the workshop and discussions that took place within the above aims the players either though the discussions were excellent (10) or good (5).
- When asked after the workshop what were the 3 key things that the players learnt, main topics were correct Terminology in terms of words that are acceptable and unacceptable, Consequences of racism and information about what racism is and how to deal with it / report it.
- When asked if the players know more about racism after the workshop 100% said yes.
- When asked if they know more about their responsibilities as an academy player in being a role model and representing the club 100% said yes.
- When asked if they are more aware of the dangers of social media in terms of what they say reflects on them and the club and that there are accountable for their actions 100% replied yes.
- When asked if they now know how to deal with racism and how to report it 100% replied yes.
This feedback highlights the importance of working with academy players and the impact the workshop has on the players specifically with Terminology and dealing with racism in their environment.
Campaign Worker Jason Webber said: “The club have always been very supportive of the campaign and once again receptive to our work, they are the first club in Wales to have the workshop and the players were very responsive and all fully supportive of the core messages within it, it is something that we are going to deliver throughout Wales in the coming months.”
Following the success of the workshop we are now looking to roll out the initiative to the rest of the academy age groups at Cardiff City FC and are in discussions with other clubs in Wales to hold workshops with their players.